SDPI row: BJP accuses Congress of contesting LS polls with 'support of terrorists'

SDPI row: BJP accuses Congress of contesting LS polls with 'support of terrorists'

New Delhi | The BJP on Wednesday alleged that Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha elections with the “support of terrorists” after Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political arm of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), offered its support to the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala.

Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan of the Congress had on Monday told mediapersons that the UDF has not reached any understanding with the SDPI after the outfit extended support to the alliance in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Targeting the Congress, BJP national spokesperson Prem Shukla alleged that Rahul Gandhi who speaks of "opening 'mohabbat ki dukan' (shop of love) is repeatedly sending ‘mohabbat ke paigam' (message of love)’ to terrorism and separatism".

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi threatens to set the country on fire from Ramlila ground and then he takes electoral support of the SDPI, which supports PFI (Popular Front of India) and terror activities, while visiting Wayanad,” Shukla alleged at a press conference.

Accusing the Congress of contesting elections “with the support of terrorists”, the BJP spokesperson asked, “Why do they need to take support of an organisation like SDPI which supports terrorists.”

Referring to the issue, BJP national general Secretary Vinod Tawde said, “The Congress' love for terrorism and ‘tukde-tukde’ gang continues unabated.”

The BJP’s Kerala unit on Tuesday urged Gandhi to explain his stand over the support offered to the UDF by the SDPI, while Home Minister Amit Shah also hit out at the Congress, saying how can people be safe under the party if it has taken the support of the SDPI.

"On the one hand, there are explosions in Bengaluru and on the other hand, I got information that SDPI has supported the Congress. If it is true, then can the people of Karnataka be safe under the Congress?” Shah said during his election campaign in Ramanagara district, which is part of Bengaluru Rural constituency in Karnataka.

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday filed his Lok Sabha poll nomination from the Wayanad seat in Kerala, which he currently represents.

Addressing a rally at Panna in Madhya Pradesh, Union Minister Smriti Irani took a swipe at the Congress leader whom she had defeated in the Amethi Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 general election.

"I heard that some people are filing their nomination papers in Wayanad today. State (Kerala) president of my party (BJP) is contesting elections against him and is saying that now his politics has become so bad that he is seeking help from terrorist organisations," Irani said.

The PFI was banned under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Centre in September 2022 over its alleged links with terror activities.

The Centre had banned PFI for five years under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA in 2022, accusing the Islamic outfit of having "links" with global terror groups such as ISIS and trying to spread communal hatred in the country.

The PFI's eight associates -- Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala -- were also placed in the list of the organisations outlawed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), according to a gazette notification issued by the government on September 28, 2022.

The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala. It had its headquarters in Delhi.

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